Revised medical marijuana manual lists many adverse effects

Health Canada has significantly expanded its medical marijuana manual for health-care professionals, adding major new sections about the potential adverse effects on the teenaged brain and driving safety.

The document is much larger than the previous 2013 edition, and responds to doctors’ complaints about having too little information on the medical science even as they’re being asked to authorize marijuana for a growing number of patients.

The heavily revised manual arrives as the Liberals sort out how to legalize recreational marijuana as promised in the federal election – and the document’s fresh litany of cautions may provide ammunition to opponents.

CBC News obtained a draft copy of the 158-page manual, dated Dec. 23, 2015, and due to be published this spring, under the Access to Information Act.

The document replaces a three-year-old, 94-page document, and features an “adverse effects” section that is more than 50 per cent longer than its predecessor. The section reviews in greater depth whether cannabis may affect the onset of schizophrenia or psychosis, among many other medical issues.

The older manual also referred only to dried plant, while the new one cites fresh marijuana and oils, which are also now available under a new commercial regime consisting of 30 Health Canada-approved growers shipping to about 37,000 patients. The document also features a new section on vaping, that is, cannabis electronic cigarettes.

To read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/medical-marijuana-guide-1.3528520